The Shape of Starships to Come

This may be a controversial statement, but any ship large enough to support a crew is too large to be a realistic option for interstellar travel. Space is big, unfathomably big, and the problem of venturing between stars has occupied theorists for quite a long time, leading to some audacious proposals. To see how vast... Continue Reading →

TMK-E: The Nuclear Mars Train

Last week I posted a review of the 1963 film A Dream Come True, about a Soviet expedition to Mars, and today I'm going to share the Mars mission the Soviets were actually planning when that movie came out. It was... ambitious, to say the least. "Nuclear-powered Mars train from pole to pole" levels of ambitious.... Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Killing Star

Here we will explore how not to write a science fiction novel. Now, I really wanted to like The Killing Star. Pellegrino and Zebrowski's novel is beloved in some sci-fi circles, and I can see why: their vision of the galaxy is a brutal place, where any civilization becomes an existential threat the moment it develops... Continue Reading →

The New Antarctica

Somewhere between the current human presence in the space—zilch, save for three people aboard the ISS—and the most ambitious, wide-eyed, optimistic visions for colonization—Musk's million people on Mars, Bezos' trillions throughout the solar system—there's a middle ground where we work on and explore other planets, but inhabit them only in the same sense that we... Continue Reading →

How to Grow a Treehouse in Space

Post by AJ Rise: Biology’s reputation as a “soft” science is ill-deserved. It’s a field of many wonders still unknown to mankind, and endless possibility. I think it likely that many of the technological advancements in the near future will be rooted in the deep study of living systems. Millions of years of evolution have... Continue Reading →

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